Send us your feedback: How open data can improve UK public procurement

The UK Government is consulting on how small businesses could gain better access to public sector contract opportunities, through a new power contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment (SBEE) Bill. The ODI has drafted a short submission to the consultation that's accessible here, and we're interested in your feedback on our draft.

The Crown Commercial Service has asked for input on how the new power in the SBEE Bill could be used to:

  • Improve efficiency and reduce burdens and costs for suppliers and procurers;
  • Make accessible and free of charge more information that could help businesses bid for public contracts; and
  • Accept electronic invoices.

The ODI's submission connects the UK's public procurement reforms explicitly to open data, and sets out three ways in which the new power can be used to:

  1. Require the publication of performance data and any data related to the formation of procured services as open data;
  2. Mandate that core data produced as part of the delivery of public services be made available as open data even if delivered by the private sector - unless it is personal data; and
  3. Ensure consistency across published data by requiring that publishers follow departmental guidelines. These guidelines should include using a standard format for publication, such as the Open Contracting Data Standard (beta version).

The submission builds on work the ODI's already done in the area of open data and public procurement, including a Guide to Procurement and Open Data and a training program for public procurement officers.

Have a look at the draft document and let us know your feedback either as in-line comments or by emailing [email protected].

Unfortunately the timeline for comments is limited: final submissions are due on Thursday 13 November, which means there's only two days to add your input. If you have any comments or questions about the consultation, contact [email protected].